BOURNEMOUTH, Christchurch and Poole Council has said it is ‘fully prepared’ for the upcoming winter season and the staffing challenges this may bring.

Despite a national shortage of heavy goods vehicle drivers, the unitary authority has said its current staffing levels will be able to cope with additional pressures winter is expected to bring.

A council spokesperson said: “We are fully prepared for the winter season with our current staffing levels able to take on any additional duties that the adverse weather brings.”

Elsewhere, concerns are mounting ahead of Christmas as toy shops across Britain have warned of toy shortages due to supply difficulties and a lack of HGV drivers.

Ministers will expand a fast-track scheme to allow up to 5,000 people to be trained as HGV drivers to alleviate the supply chain crisis.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday that 2,000 additional places would be opened up through “skills bootcamps” to boost the number of lorry drivers.

But the free courses lasting up to 16 weeks will not start until next month, meaning they will do nothing to alleviate concerns about shortages this Christmas.